Cheltenham: Day to remember as Irish legends conquer festival

Alexander the Great was said to have wept because there were no more worlds for him to conquer, but don’t hold your breath for tears from Willie Mullins or Ruby Walsh just yet.

This pair of trainer and jockey had already managed many a marvellous feat at the Cheltenham festival, but yesterday they threatened to perform feats which stand securely alongside any seen in the long history of jumps racing here in the Cotswolds.

Every year the pair turn up with glorious pasts to bolster them and hang around their necks like weights. It has no effect, except to push them towards ever greater heights.

By day’s end, Mullins had four winners bagged to bring to 37 the number of firsts he has registered at this annual gathering and Walsh had added three to his already prodigious tally of 41. Only a fall at the last obstacle for the favourite, Annie Power, deprived Walsh of his own perfect quartet although Mullins was still quids-in with the eventual victor Glens Melody another product of his yard. It was that kind of day.

It was, frankly, ridiculous stuff from this prized pair of Irish sporting giants whose mutual hold on this captivating event is, somehow, only tightening as the years go by.

We should all enjoy it while it lasts.

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